With shoes, your body switches off to a degree, and your reaction time decreases.As loyal readers know, about two years ago I read an article in Men's Health about barefoot running. Because the logic of said article made sense to me, I adopted it entirely and without question. I bought a pair of Nike Free 5.0s and quickly proceeded to not run. Now, however, nearly two years later, I've started running and never before have I run further, better, and with so few injuries (shin splints, aching knees, ankle soreness).
See the video at NikeFree.com
I've practically become a spokesperson for these shoes. The computer animation here (below the fold) shows the benefit as I understood it. Basically, when we wear socks, shoes with huge springy and cushioned heels, and possibly orthodics, we thwart evolution. The Men's Health article basically said to imagine your child is about to walk into traffic at the foot of your driveway. Would you run heel-toe and lope out to get him? No ...you'd take off running on the balls of your feet. Running on the balls of our feet and using our ankles and knees to absorb impact is how nature intended it for us. We are not meant to land solidly on our heel straight-legged, using our leg like a pogo-stick with only foam or a Nike Air pocket to soften the blow.
Ouch! My hip hurts just thinking about that.
WISHING: Some loyal 'Ego reader will buy me these Montrail Highlanders. Or the Newton Running shoes. I'm not picky.
Not bored enough, yet? Try this article on for size. And then, try on some barefoot running shoes.
Modern man does spend too much time in shoes, and this weakens many of the foot and leg structures. To correct this, you can walk barefoot around the house, do simple foot strengthening exercises, or run a few barefoot miles a week on safe, secure surfaces.